In 1963 the first cable railway went into operation. To celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the Silvrettaseilbahn AG, from the 6th to the 10th of January, ten international artists are putting together an open-air gallery with vehicle access, right in the middle of the skiing area. ‘Past, Present and Future of the Ski Resort’ is the theme of the 21st snow sculpture competition ‘Shapes in White’.
How does one look back at half a century of cable railway history? What better way to do it than with an exhibition where it all began: in the skiing area. To celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the Silvrettaseilbahn AG in Ischgl, ten art partners from Italy, Austria, Canada, England and Switzerland are putting together an open-air gallery with vehicle access for the 21st snow sculpture competition ‘Shapes in White’. From the 6th to the 10th of January 2014, the sculpture makers will have time to chisel their visions of the past, present and future of the Silvretta Arena out of snow. Whether that means snow-white oversized snowcats, cable railways, ski tows, or stars from the legendary Top of the Mountain Concerts: the sky is the limit as far as creativity goes. “When an enterprise turns fifty, it’s an occasion to pause, play back what’s happened and come up with new ideas for the future,” explains Hannes Parth, managing director of the Silvrettaseilbahn AG on the occasion of the anniversary. Exactly what the sculptures will look like will be kept under wraps until the competition. The judging panel will award a prize to the best sculpture on the 10th of January 2014 on the Idalp. Thanks to the reliable snow coverage up to the beginning of May, winter sports buffs can behold the beautiful sculptures up close and personal on the piste. There’ll be hands-on history throughout the whole of spring, until the sun starts to melt the snow-show. For more information check out www.ischgl.com
50 years of the Silvrettaseilbahn AG – an unforeseen success story
In 1961, 73 business partners founded the Silvrettaseilbahn AG at the Hotel Post in Ischgl. Since then the Alpine lifestyle metropolis has evolved from a mountain farming village into one of the most renowned winter sports resorts. With pioneering spirit aplenty, the proprietor of the Post Franz Grissemann, the mayor Franz Kurz, and their fellows Aloys Erwin and Wolf Rudolf managed to convince the residents to invest their savings in the construction of a cable railway. And they were right on the money! In December 1963, the Silvretta aerial tramway went online. And the pioneering spirit has been passed down by the four founding members. The valley has since invested 400 million euros in the maintenance and further development of the ski resort. Tourism became the greatest economic factor of the region. To this day, the residents have waived their rights to dividends. Instead the profits flow straight back into the joint-stock company. A large factor of its success is Ischgl’s world-class entertainment – from concerts with stars like Tina Turner, Elton John or Rihanna through to the international snow sculpture competition ‘Shapes in White’ with international artists. This year the sculptors are faced with a particular challenge, for to depict 50 years of ski resort history in snow form does seem abstract, albeit promising beyond our imagination.